• A personal note on IGBP and the social sciences

    Humans are an integral component of the Earth system as conceptualised by IGBP. João Morais recalls key milestones in IGBP’s engagement with the social sciences and offers some words of advice for Future Earth.
  • IGBP and Earth observation:
    a co-evolution

    The iconic images of Earth beamed back by the earliest spacecraft helped to galvanise interest in our planet’s environment. The subsequent evolution and development of satellites for Earth observation has been intricately linked with that of IGBP and other global-change research programmes, write Jack Kaye and Cat Downy .
photo: Corel Draw
Published: January 23, 2013

Stockholm Seminar: 2000-year climate records

Thorsten Kiefer from IGBP's core project Past Global Changes (PAGES) discusses the 2000-year climate records across continents.
More information
Global temperatures have increased over the last decades. Instrumental temperature measurements leave no room for doubt, but go back just a century and half. Long-term records are essential if we are to understand climate variability and to isolate the effects of natural and human drivers.

A global network of scientists have reconstructed and analyzed the climate of the last two millennia at a regional scale. A first set of temperature reconstructions based on more than 500 sites worldwide reveals substantial variability through time, but also between regions.

Accordingly, the data showed no globally synchronous warm or cold intervals that would define a worldwide Medieval Climate Anomaly or Little Ice Age. On the other hand, robust features include a millennial-scale cooling trend across almost all regions, reversed by the warming measured over the last few decades.

The seminar discussed in detail the regional temperature histories and their implications, and demonstrate the virtues of concerted data syntheses by international communities.

About Thorsten Kiefer
Thorsten Kiefer is the Executive Director of IGBP's Past Global Changes project (PAGES), located at the University of Berne in Switzerland. The scope of PAGES covers science that uses pre-instrumental evidence to investigate environmental and climatic changes, natural and anthropogenic, over the past hundreds to millions of years.

Thorsten Kiefer's roots as a researcher were at the Universities of Kiel, Germany, and Cambridge, UK, where he analyzed deep-sea sediments for information on past changes in ocean circulation and hydrology. Kiefer is also currently serving as the co-chief-editor of Climate of the Past, an open-access and open-review journal of the European Geosciences Union.

Share this page
Tell a friend (opens in new window)
Follow us

Please note!

IGBP closed at the end of 2015. This website is no longer updated.

No events available

  • Global Change Magazine No. 84

    This final issue of the magazine takes stock of IGBP’s scientific and institutional accomplishments as well as its contributions to policy and capacity building. It features interviews of several past...

  • Global Change Magazine No. 83

    This issue features a special section on carbon. You can read about peak greenhouse-gas emissions in China, the mitigation of black carbon emissions and the effect of the 2010-2011 La Niña event on gl...